We're Training Dogs To Sniff Out Terrorists, Pedophiles, And Fraudsters - And Here's How

It has long been said that dogs are man’s best friend. They were first domesticated by humans thousands of years ago and have been diversified across hundreds of different breeds in that time due to selective breeding. Thanks to their intelligence, strong work ethic, and social nature, they can be everything from lovable pets to crime fighters. Outside of just being friendly companions, dogs are perhaps best known for the various jobs that they do.

These animals are used by police forces throughout the world as bomb sniffing dogs or to help find illegal substances such as drugs. However, there are some more bizarre things that dogs can sniff out other than these rather obvious materials. With the right training, there are ways dogs can even identify terrorists or detect diseases in a person just by using their nose; truly, the things dogs can sniff out is downright impressive.

  • Sniffer Dogs Are Being Used To Detect Pedophiles

    Sniffer Dogs Are Being Used To Detect Pedophiles
    Photo: echoforsberg / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    One of the main problems for police when searching the homes of suspects they believe may have child pornography is finding the equipment on which the images are stored. Devices such as hard drives, USB drives, and SD cards can be tiny, allowing a pedophile to easily hide them from prying eyes. For the police, it is essential to gather such material as evidence so that they can get a conviction. The latest "technology" they are using to help find digital storage equipment is sniffer dogs. Police forces in the US have now begun to use detection dogs to find electronic equipment that has been hidden away in secret compartments or behind walls. That's right: these dogs can identify electronics solely by smell.

  • Dogs In The UK Are Being Used To Sniff Out Fraudsters And Terrorists

    Detection dogs trained in a similar manner to their US counterparts have also been used in the UK. As well as using the animals to find electronic equipment that could lead to the arrest and conviction of pedophiles, Devon and Cornwall police have also used them to combat fraud and terrorism. Two dogs, Tweed and Rob, have already been involved in some 50 cases across the country. They have successfully found hidden thumb drives and SD cards that human officers would likely have missed, leading to the collection of valuable evidence and intelligence.

  • Some Dogs Are Even Trained To Detect Diseases

    Some Dogs Are Even Trained To Detect Diseases
    Video: YouTube

    Not all sniffer dogs are used by police and other authorities to help combat crime. There are some that are specially trained to be able to detect certain diseases in humans. Diabetic detection dogs are able to tell when a person’s blood sugar level drops to a dangerous level better than many pieces of specially designed equipment. Meanwhile, studies have shown that the animals can also detect certain types of cancer.

    One other promising study has found that people who are infected with malaria emit certain odors in their breath. Researchers hope that if these chemicals can be broke down, detection dogs can be trained to recognize them. This would allow medics to quickly identify those who have malaria without having to carry out time-consuming tests.

  • Others Can Locate Cash

    An important new tool in the fight against fraud and money laundering has been sniffer dogs. Specially trained animals in the UK have been sent to countries such as Italy to help officials detect people at airports carrying large amounts of money. The authorities use the dogs in the hopes that they will find people who are attempting to smuggle money out of the country illegally. Trained to detect specific chemicals that are used in the production of cash notes, the dogs can easily track money that has been hidden from customs officials.

  • There Are Even Sniffer Dogs That Specialize In Finding Dead Bodies

    Detection dogs have also been used in a more gruesome manner. There are sniffer dogs in the US and other parts of the world that specialize in finding dead bodies. These dogs are trained to be able to recognize smells that are released during decomposition and become so good at their job that they can even detect where a corpse may have been weeks or months after it was moved. They are used by police to help locate missing people and gather evidence to help convict murderers who may have hidden body parts.

  • Detection Dogs Have Been Used Since The 1940s

    Detection Dogs Have Been Used Since The 1940s
    Video: YouTube

    Humans have used dogs and their strong sense of smell for hundreds of years. Ever since the animals were first domesticated and then selectively bred, people have found uses for them in terms of tracking things with their noses. However, the first detection dogs that were specifically trained to find things such as explosives and weapons came in the 1940s. They were used to help find German mines and bombs in North Africa and, following their huge success in this arena, have been used extensively all around the world to aid the police and military. They were adapted to not only sniff out bombs but also illegal substances such as drugs.